We are guiding people back to freedom
That is what we do.
Or that is what we should be doing.
As health care professionals.
Isn’t health the freedom to do whatever you want with your body and mind?
To be restricted in your daily movements or activities because of your pain or fear or anxiety or depression or limited movement capabilities is awful.
It feels awesome to be free.
Free of worry or fear or movement restrictions in your joints or because of tense muscles.
-To be able to reach fully overhead and grab something from the top shelf of the cupboard, without being scared that your rotator cuff will impinge.
-To be able to fully squat down and pick up your grandson and lift him over your head, without being fearful that you tear a muscle.
-To be able to bend fully and in a relaxed way and pick up your pencil from the floor, without worrying that your disc will pop out.
-To be able to twist and turn your back without being afraid your back will be damaged.
-To be able to carry a suitcase or garbage bag on one side and not think about your vertebrae go out of alignment.
We are to blame
But we are putting people in their own prison of fear, anxiety, worry and restricted/guarded movement and maybe even depression. We are doing that. We are to blame for this as health care professionals.
With our nocebic words and our fearful beliefs that we throw at our patients.
This is a great free article about the impact that we clinicians have on our patients:
The Enduring Impact of What Clinicians Say to People With Low Back Pain by Darlow et al.:
Not entirely our fault
This is not entirely our fault of course, because we have been taught to think in the biomedical model at our physio schools. This was when we were young and didn’t know any better. The school should teach you the correct things right?
Many things that are being taught at physio schools and Master programs are very outdated and really focused on the biomedical model.
Not all schools though! There are some physio schools who have changed their curriculum and now teach the biopsychosocial model and equip students to put this into practice.
Some schools even have the MSK Clinical Translation Framework in their curriculum:
The fact is that a lot of new grad physio’s are really confused and insecure about their skills to apply the BPS model into practice, which is a problem.
We can change this as a profession:
If the Physio schools would adopt a more holistic viewpoint on health and our profession.
If we see ourselves more as a guide or a coach and not as a “fixer of pain”.
If we fight against our “repair reflex”, which is the urge to immediately tell our patients what to do or not do.
Instead, listen better, use motivational interviewing techniques (go to a course!), train your communication skills, become less fearful of pain, invest in yourself with self-improvement books or other educational platforms, like TrustMe - Ed. Stay critical of your self and try to improve your advice, your education, your techniques, your thought processes, train your discipline and stay open to new idea’s and stay humble.
Our body is made to move in every different direction. It has the ability to adapt and become stronger through movement and load. The gradual loading of our tissues is good and will make us stronger and more robust.
We can train our minds and thoughts to become more resilient to adversity. Obstacles in your way are THE way. It’s a perfect way to test you and to see what you are made of. To grow as a person.
You can read more about these topics in the books of Jocko Willink: Extreme ownership and Discipline equals freedom. Or follow him on social media.
Paul Lagerman did a webinar on this topic: https://trustme-ed.com/lectures/a-revolution-evolution/physio-evo-revo3
We have to take ownership of our words and beliefs and guide the people in pain who come to our clinic....